Did Google Pay Apple $1 Billion To Keep Its Search Bar On iOS Devices?
Apparently so, according to a Bloomberg report. Ever wonder how Google the creator of the Android mobile operating system, rival to Apple’s own iOS, manages to have its search engine inside iPhone and iPad devices? Well, it turns out that Google has paid Apple a whopping one billion dollars just to have it search engine included in the iOS environment.
This was revealed in a pending legal case between Google and Oracle. Going on for half a decade now, this case revolves around the issue of the search giant’s use of technology developed and owned by Oracle. As purported by Oracle, Google is guilty of copyright infringement, by virtue of its unauthorized use of 37 of Java’s application program interfaces (APIs) in its Android mobile operating system. Google’s argument is that those APIs were free to use to begin with, so there was no infringement going on. Oracle charges that Google deliberately used the APIs without acquiring licenses from Sun Microsystems, which was acquired by Oracle back in 2010.
In the course of the proceedings, it was revealed that Google has an agreement with Apple that allows the iPhone maker to receive a certain percentage of the revenues that Google earns on iOS devices. Over the years, there have been rumors that Google was indeed paying Apple some cash in order to have its search engine present in iOS devices, but neither Google nor Apple have ever addressed this subject completely. But there may be some truth to this, considering that both companies have submitted filings to have this piece of information barred from the general public, on the ground that the information is of confidential nature.
Confidentiality notwithstanding, the information revealed is truly intriguing in so many levels. Firstly, it is evidence that enemies on the surface may be bedfellows behind closed doors. Secondly, it paints a rather contradicting picture of two the biggest brands in tech today. Many may think that Google has always been one to do things its own way using its own resources, and yet here it is paying a rival to have its product displayed, so to speak.
When talking about operating systems used for smartphones and tablets, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS make up almost 96 percent of the global market. Although Android clearly dominates with an 82.8 percent share, iOS is slowly but surely gaining some ground, increasing by a couple of percentage points year after year to 13.9 percent in 2015.